Billionaire city businessman Patrick Nderitu has been at loggerheads with Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko over a prime parcel of land along Kenyatta Avenue and Buruburu estate.
Nairobi County Government askaris demolished Nderitu’s auto garage dubbed ‘Pimp my Ride’ in May at the spot where the famous Simmers Bar once stood, even though the tycoon signed a five-year lease approved by the County Government.
A day prior to the demolition, Sonko had clashed with Nderitu over a multi-million shillings land in Burburu estate he (Nderitu) acquired more than a year ago and he was there to evict a school and church sitting there as ordered by Nairobi Court.
Shortly after, Sonko arrived with hired goons leading to clash then his convoy was stoned forcing security officers to fire in the air to scatter the rowdy group.
“That is when he (Sonko) threatened to demolish some of my properties including the business that stands where Simmers was,” said Nderitu.
Nderitu 42, opened Pimp My Ride, and a garage, after forking out Sh80 million for the lease approved by Sonko before their spat.
The businessman claims he lost Sh86 million following illegal demolition of his auto garage along Kenyatta Avenue by City County under instructions and supervision of Sonko.
Close friends in the know however say the bad blood between governor Sonko and Nderitu, his one-time friend, is rooted in Nderitus’s dizzying fortunes: He is said to be more liquid than Sonko.
The rivalry seems to have sprung in the matatu business where Nderitu had an upper hand in operating the most souped up matatus on the Buruburu route in Nairobi where Sonko was making forays.
Nderitu whose light complexion and tactfully trimmed jet-black hair and flamboyant, conspicuous dressing gives him an uncanny resemblance to ‘Congolese investors’, but he reveals that he grew up in Kitale.
Sometimes in late 90’s Nderitu claims he rescued Sonko at Industrial area remand where he was held after posing as the son of the late Cabinet Minister Joseph Kamotho.
Later on Nderitu got interested in pimping vehicles and ventured in transport, petroleum, mining limestone and the property business in Nairob then Sonko joined him in the matatu business briefly before switching to politics.
Will the two friends turned adversaries kiss and make up? Only time, and who blinks first…